Mr Mustard bemoans the passing of The Good Old Days. How he loved the long words which the wonderful Leonard Sachs would come out with.
|none of the above describe the Cabinet|
Sadly the compere last Tuesday evening ( Mr Mustard apologises for the blogging delay due to exhaustion brought on by attending too many council meetings ) was someone who has his own way with words, Brian Coleman.
The show was the Talk London show and top of the bill was the ever popular and consummate professional, the bicycling buffoon Boris Johnson. More of him in a moment.
Let us look at the supporting acts on the bill. Starting from stage left, the Transport of Delight, Isabel Dedring on loan from TfL and apparently earning a miserable £127,784 p.a. which is less than Pam pparently Wharfe and Craig Cooper ! and yet she has to make all of London's transport work.
Next along Gail Laser, Miss Motivator, the largely unknown lady ( Mr Mustard has seen how she galvanises traders into action but what democratic mandate put her on the platform is a question that a Conservative asked of Mr Mustard ). Is she for pay-by-phone or against, it seemed like both. She could have said that pay-by-phone is OK as one of a range of choices which include roadside meters but she didn't and got heckled for it.
On Boris's right were two genuine buffoons ( Boris is only acting after all ).
Firstly The Amazing Listening Man - he listens but he never acts, Richard Cornelius, the "leader" of Barnet Council. Inspirational he isn't. He said he had taken a couple of maulings from meetings. You haven't seen anything yet Mr Cornelius if you don't start doing something good for Barnet.
If you wanted a real report of the meeting you had best read Broken Barnet, Citizen Barnet, or The Barnet Eye because Mr Mustard is merely going to mention some small but interesting points.
Then dear Brian. He told a fantastic joke at the start, He said to keep your question short and to the point ( investment in Outer London ) as there was nothing worse than having to go home without having been able to ask your question. Oh how Mr Mustard laughed. Only the previous evening Mr Mustard had been at the Cabinet Resources Committee, of which Brian is a member, and there there were 30 minutes for questions from the public and the guillotine is then brought sharply down. No question of extending the time even with loads of questions unanswered. Amazing how the world can change in 24 hours.
Of course the question of parking was a question that Brian was desperate to avoid and he steadily avoided the eye of everyone in a parking t-shirt.
|The Parking Protestors|
One safe looking lady turned out to be a parking missile in disguise and the top table took a blasting ( Brian must have been kicking himself - he will remember her next time ).
Boris could see what was going on however.
|Boris in his music hall gear|
He would happily have fielded the questions on parking as he has helped sort out the parking pickle in Westminster and it looks like he spoke to the parking party at the end.
Mr Mustard thinks that Brian and Richard would have had their ears bent afterwards in private as Boris wants the votes and getting rid of pay-by-phone, or at least bringing back the meters, and getting the charges reduced would gather thousands of votes for him.
Boris said that he had a Lust for Scrutiny - that won't do in Barnet Boris, you will have to go somewhere else for that.
Boris wanted to "Put the Village back into the City" In Mr Mustard's experience you can park for nothing in the centre of the village in order to pop into the village shop so Mr Mustard is right with you there Boris.
And finally Boris next time please be somewhere with proper parking provision.